Peter Delfakis fires up another batch of saganaki as the sun sets on the opening night of the 2018 Greek Festival at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Ft. Lowell Road.

The Tucson Greek Festival marks its 45th year this weekend.

Forty-five years of eating our way through Greece in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, snacking on crisp, buttery, earthy spanakopita; delighting in the uniqueness of dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with beef, rice and Greek seasonings; basking in the ooey-gooeyness of honey-dripped baklava.

The Greek festival, sponsored by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, is sort of a precursor to the much larger food-centric Tucson Meet Yourself, which is holding its 45th event in October. Both festivals use food as a way to invite us into different cultures.

At the four-day Greek Festival, which opens Thursday, Sept. 26, a Greek band will play and there will be Greek dancers in traditional costumes.

There also will be family-friendly activities and a DJ for the kids and young people, and a beer garden serving Barrio Brewing on tap and wine for adults.

The festival continues through Sunday, Sept. 29, at St. Demetrios, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. Admission is $3 for adults, free for kids 12 and younger, seniors, first responders and active military with ID. Students get in free on Thursday with ID.

Hours: 5-10 p.m. Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday; 4-11 p.m. Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Details:

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.